Corporate investor CorpArq has acquired the majority stake in casual clothing specialist Cotton Traders.
The Altrincham-based clothing range founded by ex-England rugby internationals Fran Cotton and Steve Smith has more than 120 stores in the UK and is expanding its presence to 25 countries.
In 2017 Cotton Traders recorded the best results in its 30-year history. Turnover was up by 5.5% to £86.7m, and operating profit rose 5.2% to £8.1m.
Under terms of the deal both Cotton and Smith will remain active board members in the company. Jon Dorsett, CorpAcq’s investor director, joins the Cotton Traders board as non-executive director.
CorpAcq, which is also based in Altrincham, was formed in 2006 and oversees 20 separate businesses with a combined turnover of £200m.
Simon Orange, CorpAcq’s founder and chairman, said: “We have a very strong and positive relationship with the owners of Cotton Traders.
”We share the same values and outlook, and we are confident that this deal will be of huge benefit to the brand, all those working within the company, and to CorpAcq.”
Cotton Traders co-founder Fran Cotton said: “It has been a fantastic journey for Steve and me to take Cotton Traders to this point over the last 30 years, and I must thank all of our amazing staff who make the brand what it is today.
”I am excited by our future plans, and look forward to working with CorpAcq on building the business in the years ahead.”